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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2019 Dec;42(4):597-609. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2019.07.001. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Review and Implementation of Self-Help and Automated Tools in Mental Health Care.

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Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health System, Palo Alto, CA, USA; Division of Hospital Medicine, Clinical Informatics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 1L8, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817-1353, USA.


Self-help and automated technologies can be useful for behavioral and mental health education and interventions. These technologies include interactive media, online courses, artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, voice assistants, and video games. Self-help media can include books, videos, audible media like podcasts, blog and print articles, and self-contained Internet sites. Social media, online courses, and mass-market mobile apps also can include such media. These technologies serve to decrease geospatial, temporal, and financial barriers. This article describes different self-help and automated technologies, how to implement such technologies in existing clinical services, and how to implement according to patient needs.


Chatbots; Education; Media; Mental health; Smartphone; Video games; Voice assistants; Websites


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